Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Friday, April 16, 2010

Back in the late 1800’s Arrhenius suggested that raising the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would cause the average temperature of the earth to increase. No one thought much about it until about the time I graduated from college. Early discussions I recall concentrated on the benefits that would result, such as longer growing seasons combined with higher CO2 concentration which would increase the world’s food supply. It was thought at the time that the main effect would be an increase in nighttime minimum temperature, but not much increase in maximum daytime temperature. (The increase in minimum temperature at night was the main factor in increasing the growing season.) These effects have in fact materialized. Plant growth rates have increased by about 15% over the past 100 years due to higher CO2 concentration. It is generally agreed that average temperature has increased slightly, but there is no proof that the increased CO2 level is the cause. The increase in average temperature is problematical because the claimed increase is much smaller than diurnal variations, is very much smaller than seasonal variations, and there is doubt about the accuracy of the measurements and the analysis methods used to “homogenize” the data. Many people claim to see evidence of warming in behavior of animals, and to observe it themselves. It is highly doubtful than humans or animals can perceive variations of a few tenths of a degree given the 100 degree F variation encountered at a given location over the course of a year.

After a lot of study and analysis I concluded that it is unlikely that increased CO2 concentration levels in the atmosphere would lead to significant increases in the global average temperature anomaly (GATA). But, whether or not CO2 emissions are causing noticeable increases in GATA I concluded that Al Gore and the UN IPCC are running a scam that has a different agenda than what they claim. There are many others who think as I do. John Coleman has written a good article describing the history of the movement. People who have not worked in a University or in industrial research may not appreciate the zeal with which grant money is sought. Without grants scientists will have to move on to another field, something that is not much fun.


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